"Fastest Ferrari ever built," according to its builder
Ferrari has worked hard to improve fuel economy, lower emissions, increase downforce, and reduce aerodynamic drag with its new all-aluminum supercar, the 2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, which replaces the 599 GTB in the Italian automaker's lineup.
One example of the detail work that has resulted in a claimed 0.299 coefficient of drag is the F12 Berlinetta's Active Brake Cooling system. When the brakes get hot, Active Brake Cooling opens exterior guide vanes to the brake cooling ducts, precluding the need for drag-inducing brake cooling ducts that are open all the time, whether or not they are required.
The F12 Berlinetta also employs what Ferrari calls an Aero Bridge, a hood design that channels air in such a way as to contribute to a claimed 76-percent improvement in overall downforce over the outgoing 599 GTB.
Key attributes of the F12 Berlinetta's cabin include standard Frau leather on the seats and several interior panels, carbon fiber and aluminum air vents, and an F1-inspired flat-bottomed steering wheel with an engine start/stop button, manual shift buttons, and controls for the magnetorheological suspension system and other vehicle settings. There is also an upholstered rear bench behind the front seats, complete with luggage straps to hold cargo in place during spirited driving.
As this preview is written, Ferrari provides access only to available exterior paint colors, brake caliper colors, interior leather colors, and wheel selections. There are many choices, helping to ensure that few Ferrari F12 Berlinettas will be identically equipped.
Under the Hood
The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is powered by a 6.3-liter V-12 engine making 740 horsepower and 509 lb.-ft. of torque, with 80 percent of peak torque available from 2,500 rpm. Charged with motivating just 3,362 pounds, the F12 Berlinetta accelerates to 60 mph in about 3 seconds and to 100 mph in less than 8.5 seconds, according to Ferrari. The claimed top speed is 211 mph, and Ferrari says it is "the fastest Ferrari ever built."
The engine is mounted at the front of the car, low in the chassis and behind the front axle for a front mid-engine layout. For improved weight distribution, the F1-DCT dual-clutch automated manual transmission is mounted in the rear. Weight distribution is 46/54 front-to-rear, according to Ferrari.
Fuel-economy estimates are not finalized, but Ferrari says the new F12 Berlinetta is 30 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor.
The new F12 Berlinetta is equipped with carbon ceramic brakes and what Ferrari calls a high-performance anti-lock braking system, as well as the automaker's F1-Trac traction control system and ESP Premium stability control system.